Demonstrating Value is Critical to Secure New Business
Proposals should clearly establish relevance, value and impact on client operations as these are critical success factors for securing your share of new projects in a business world turned upside down by the global recession.
This means that proposal and tender teams need to learn new habits and skills that will enable them to write winning bids more quickly and easily, and also learn to identify what questions to ask and how to decide whether or not to bid.
This is the view of nFold managing director and experienced Bid to Win lecturer, Sandy Pullinger, who says that customers’ expectations of proposals have changed and that successful bid teams have adapted their modus operandi to meet these changes.
Critical in the new bidding environment, she says, is for the bidding company to ensure its proposal demonstrates a client-centred solution, differentiates its solution from that of the competition, and focuses on the customer’s needs as opposed to hiding behind a list of products and services.
“The best way for bid teams to learn the new steps to writing winning proposals is to attend bid best practice seminars and/or join the South African chapter of the APMP, a global proposal and tender network of professionals in 10 countries,” Pullinger says.
“Locally, the APMP offers a platform for proposal and tender specialists to share best practice through its forums and speaker evenings.
“The APMP forums are exclusive round-table sessions for proposal professionals interested in learning and analysing the key elements that form the basis of the APMP’s recommended proposal management best practice and accreditation. This year, the topics of the six forums are Document Design, Proposal Management, Pricing and Costing, Process Design, Proposal Writing and Sales & Capture Management.
“The APMP speaker evening has proven very successful in the past, particularly that on Government Procurement Policies. A similar evening will be held in March entitled Parastatal Procurement. Here, specialists in this arena will address the subject for an hour and answer questions from the floor.
“The discussion is aimed at Bid Managers, Proposal Technicians, CEOs and Sales Directors responsible for business with parastatals. The purpose is to engage and learn from specialists in the field of parastatal procurement. The specialists will address procurement best practice, the rules, policies and processes in the parastatal world.
“I strongly suggest that any bid team with their eye on winning Government tenders this year comes along to find out how things work on the ‘other side of the fence’,” she says.
nFold co-ordinates the APMP function on behalf of the association but also runs its own Bid to Win seminars. Here, attendees will receive customised instruction and hands-on practice, and learn the internationally recognized bid management best practice techniques in differentiating your company, delivering a client-centered message, and building a foundation for a compelling value proposition.